Valery Korovkin, head of International Management Rostourism Tourism in the CIS did exist, does exist, and I hope will exist in much better quality than now. We slightly failed in previous years, and are now trying to catch up. The immense territory, I mean the CIS, has an absolutely colossal potential for completely different kinds of tourism, starting with cultural and historical sites, with an incredibly rich natural part, with an enormous number of monuments of nature, which are included on the UNESCO list, and those which are not included. I am talking about the potential. We have a lot of potential, but how to develop it? Just last year, the Russian side was requested on behalf of the CIS Council of Tourism to develop a strategy for tourism development in the CIS. This is a serious document in which we have tried not to show any tactical things, but that which will remain when this team of Rostourism is replaced by the next one, and the teams of our colleagues are replaced too, but it is important to retain the main vector, the direction in which to move. This document is aimed, in fact, at uniting and harmonizing all efforts in the CIS in the sphere of tourism. Of course, because of our profiling, we wanted to focus on this industry, which, in our opinion, is not yet sufficiently appreciated, I mean, in the member states, not everywhere has a proper assessment yet. In Russia, the industry has received quite specific support. Federal target program has been launched, and it is running, up and running. The first year passed with difficulty, but now it already has a good working pace. I am talking, above all, about the infrastructure of tourism. I think this is the main theme throughout the CIS. We lack the infrastructure. The tourism development program in Russia, which is now incorporated into the state program of development of culture and tourism, is approximately 85 percent about infrastructure. Where to invite people, where to treat them, where would they sleep, where would they eat, where could they go to avoid uncomfortable transportation changes – this is diverse logistics. Why have we actually lingered a bit on the Russian program? Because our problems are common everywhere. We have something to show, but we must make sure that people could see it, that it is convenient, that services are of high quality, that transport is reliable, comfortable and safe, as well as all other services in the tourism sector, which is not alone. What is good about tourism is that it unites the services of several sectors of the economy, and adds something to these services, enlivens them, and creates a tourist product.
Normalization in the legislation is needed to bring the legal framework to some common denominator, so that tourism would work equally well in our countries. A statistical approach is needed, which would allow the market to analyze all in one way, to avoid discord in indicators. I am not talking about particular countries, but an analysis of tourist flows often shows a difference, sometimes up to a ten-fold difference for the same indicator. Quality of service relates to a whole range: hotel service, transport service, guides and interpreters, and catering. An education in tourism gives some standardization in quality, of course. 2014 has been declared the Year of Tourism. We all want to give some incentive, prepare a series of activities that should work together and show that, in the CIS, tourism is something worth an effort, this is people’s need.